IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Canon Albert W. Tarbell '59


The Rev. Albert W. Tarbell, Class of 1959, Honorary Canon of The Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico died on December 26, 2012, one day shy of his 103rd birthday. He was predeceased by his wife, Mabelle S. Tarbell, in 1994. Fr. Tarbell was just recently featured in GTS News, when he was joined in service at the Cathedral by the Rev. Michael Drinkwater, (M.Div. '12), and they discovered they were the oldest and youngest General graduates in service. A native of Bangor, Maine, Fr. Tarbell received his B.A. from Bowdoin and an M.A. from Yale Drama School, followed by a lively career as an actor, director, and producer in the 1930s. In 1942 he entered the military and had tours of duty in both Europe and Japan; after the war he was Commanding Officer of the Counterintelligence Corps at Sandia Base in Albuquerque. In 1956 he retired from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel and entered General Seminary.

Upon graduation, he returned to Albuquerque where he became a Canon at The Cathedral Church of St. John. As a layman he was instrumental in the establishment of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and as an Episcopal priest he became Vicar of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in 1962. St. Aidan’s grew to become one of the larger parishes in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, eventually merging with St. Matthew’s to become St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Following his retirement as rector of St. Aidan’s, Father Tarbell returned to the Cathedral and was awarded the title of Honorary Canon.

He is survived by two nephews, five children of his late brother, and by his special grandniece Caroline Kennedy Stone, and 15 other grandnieces and nephews. Funeral services were held at the Cathedral on December 30, 2012, where the Celebrant was the Very Rev. Mark Goodman, Dean of the Cathedral and a member of the GTS Class of 1991.